Patients and health care providers (HCPs) may have only limited awareness of the factors indicating that heavy menstrual bleeding may be a symptom of an underlying bleeding disorder, according to research presented at the 2022 ASH Annual Meeting.
Previous research suggests that, although heavy menstrual bleeding is an issue for millions of women worldwide, HCPs do not perform key investigations in the case of a patient presenting with symptoms. These findings are especially salient given that approximately 20% of patients with heavy menstrual bleeding have an underlying bleeding disorder. For this study, researchers aimed to evaluate HCP and patient awareness of heavy menstrual bleeding and bleeding disorders among both women and girls.
The study consisted of 2 phases: the first was interview based; the second involved workshops that included both clinicians (including general practitioners and specialists in obstetrics and gynecology; GPs and OB/GYN, respectively) and patient advocates. The authors defined heavy menstrual bleeding as periods of longer than 8 days, as well as the presence of clots or use of 1 or more sanitary products in a given 2-hour period.
Results showed that 76% of women believed they would be able to recognize symptoms of heavy menstrual bleeding well, although 23% noted they would not consult a clinician in the case of a period lasting 8 or more days. Furthermore, 22% of consulted GPs felt they lacked confidence in the diagnosis of heavy menstrual bleeding.
Only 34% of GPs and 56% of OB/GYNs reported that they would “strongly associate” heavy menstrual bleeding after menarche with an underlying bleeding disorder, and less than 10% of GPs and OB/GYNs investigate further when a patient presents with a high bleeding score.
Among HCPs, notably, the differences in survey responses were not significant based HCP gender.
Disclosure: Some study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.
Abdul-Kadir R, Tarawah A, Shridhar N, Kulkarni R. Driving change: improving diagnosis and awareness of heavy menstrual bleeding and bleeding disorders in women and girls among healthcare providers. Presented at ASH 2022. December 10-13, 2022. Abstract 1149.
This article originally appeared on Hematology Advisor
ACOG 2021: What Can We Look Forward to?
Hector O. Chapa, MD, FACOGPeer